Arsenal handed Lucas Paqueta transfer boost after Lyon chief’s revelation

Said Benrahma of West Ham and Lucas Paqueta of Lyon during West Ham v Lyon on April 6, 2022, London, League Football, quarter-finals, first Leg. CREDIT: Charlotte Wilson/Offside

Arsenal have been given a big boost in their hunt to land transfer target Lucas Paqueta.

The Gunners pursuit of £34m Lyon star Paqueta has been bolstered following an admission from the Lyon transfer chief.

Lyon transfer supremo Bruno Cheyrou has admitted the club ‘need to reduce the squad size’ amid reports that Paqueta is keen to sign for Mikel Arteta.

The North Londoners technical director Edu admitted he is a big fan of the highly-rated 24-year-old.

The Ligue 1 outfit are feeling the squeeze financially, and head of recruitment and technical advisor Cheyrou – who played for Liverpool – has said they may be forced to sell players this month.

“We need to reduce the squad size,” admitted Cheyrou, adding: “In terms of departures, we will analyse offers on a case-by-case basis but the economics will come into consideration.

“We will consider the offers with [owner] Jean-Michel Aulas and [technical director] Vincent Ponsot in order to make the best decisions. I am here to ensure the best team possible, but there are other things to take into account as well.”

Paqueta joined Lyon from AC Milan two years ago and has since scored 21 goals in all competitions. He was named in Ligue 1’s Team of the Year after his first campaign, and was part of the Brazil squad that won the Copa America on home soil in 2019.

The news comes after Ligue 1 side Lyon slashed their asking price by £21million.

A major stumbling block in the transfer has been Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas demanding an unlikely figure of £55million for the player.

Reports say the Gunners are ‘pushing hard’ to sign Paqueta, with boss Arteta being a big admirer.

And now, Aulas is said to be prepared to accept a £34m fee for Paqueta – £21m less than the original asking price. 

The 33-cap Brazil international has been heavily linked with a switch to North London, with technical director Edu believed to have held talks with the player’s associates.  

Mikel Arteta’s side could face competition from Saudi moneybags Newcastle in the race to secure the former AC Milan star’s services.

Yet, it is bellieved Arsenal are favourites to land Paqueta.

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